Tap House Application Carried to June 30th BOA Meeting

The Spring Lake Heights Board of Adjustment tonight carried the application by the Spring Lake Tap House to the June 30th meeting. Missing from the testimony were several points, most noticeably what type of stormwater management system would be installed. The Tap House is requesting 84% lot coverage where 75% is the maximum allowed by law and where they currently have 78%. The increase in impervious surface coverage produces more rainwater run-off that needs to be dealt with so it will not flood roadways or neighboring areas.

The Tap House representatives did present testimony as to how an outdoor dining area would be of great benefit to the residents because it is currently a much sought-after accommodation. Board members asked extensive questions about the capacity – currently, the bar has seating for 119. The outdoor dining area would seat 64, but the applicant explained these would not be in addition to the 119 allowed indoors. Instead, bar management would police the number of people admitted so that the total number of patrons seated at any time, indoor AND outdoor, would remain at 119.

The applicants felt there would be no impact on parking, as they indicated that no one drives anymore, but uses Uber, taxis, and bicycles. However, Mercer Avenue residents who attended spoke of the current parking situation with cars parked on both sides of the streets and in local business. The bar currently has 22 on-site parking spaces, where 37 are required. The proposed expansion would require 58 on-site spaces, and the bar is requesting a variance to provide only the existing 22 spaces.

Board Chairman Dennis Pearsall expressed an interest in seeing a revised application that would not expand the impervious service from the current 78%. The applicants indicated that they would attempt to show this at the June 30th meeting, along with plans for the stormwater management system.

Of the Mercer Avenue residents who spoke, one indicated that more of her neighbors would have come to speak as they were opposed to the expansion but they “were not invited.” Board Attorney Mark Kitrick explained that the hearing was an open public meeting and that anyone could attend and speak either for or against the proposal. He explained that residents living within 200 feet of the application, by law, had to be notified of the hearing but that the hearing was not limited to them.

Heightsonline will present the video recording of the hearing on our YouTube channel in a few days. All residents are welcome to come to the June 30th meeting.

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